Andrew Limbong

Netflix has fired an unnamed employee connected to the brewing internal blowback the company is facing over Dave Chappelle's most recent comedy special The Closer. First reported by The Verge, the news is coming as Netflix employees plan a walkout on Wednesday over transphobic comments made in the special.

Paddy Moloney, a co-founder of the Irish folk band The Chieftains, died today. He was 83 years old. The news was announced by the Irish Traditional Music Archive. No cause of death was given.

Zanzibar-born novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah won this year's Nobel Prize in literature.

"For his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents," the Swedish Academy announced Thursday morning.

The award comes with more than $1 million in prize money.

Gurnah was born in 1948. He was previously a professor of English and postcolonial literature at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England, until his retirement.

Sweater, on. Tea, steeping. Blanket, splayed. As we enter the cozy vibes of autumn, all that's missing from this picture is a good book. If you need help picking one, the National Book Foundation just announced its finalists for this year's awards.

A handful of the short-listed writers named have been honored previously by the National Book Awards, including newly minted MacArthur "genius" Hanif Abdurraqib, three-time finalist Lauren Groff and young-adult book author Kekla Magoon.

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A crowd has shut down a street near the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles. Many of those gathered are wearing pink, and they're waving flags and signs with one simple slogan - free Britney.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

Editor's note: This report includes allegations of sexual and physical abuse.

It has been six weeks of hearing from accusers, former employees and expert witnesses. Now the jury decides what's next for R. Kelly.

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Editor's note: This report includes allegations of sexual and physical abuse.

Federal prosecutors rested their case in the trial against R&B star R. Kelly today.


Editor's note: This story includes obscene language and descriptions of racist attacks.

Many users of the popular streaming platform Twitch are boycotting on Wednesday.

Another piece of New Orleans's rich jazz history has crumbled to the ground.

The building where musical great Louis Armstrong spent much of his childhood is no longer standing after Hurricane Ida battered the city. 427 South Rampart Street was called the Karnofsky Shop, after the family who lived there.

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The K-pop supergroup BTS has announced that it is canceling its upcoming world tour.

"Due to changing circumstances beyond our control, it has become difficult to resume performances at the same scale and timeline as previously planned," read a statement from the band's label, Big Hit Music.

Shinichi "Sonny" Chiba looked like he knew how to crack a skull. In his 1974 international breakout movie, The Street Fighter, Chiba plays a mercenary who relentlessly smashes goons' faces, breaks their bones and punches them so hard they spit up in visceral gushes. A cult figure in the United States, Chiba found wider popularity after appearing in such films as the Kill Bill series and The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift.

Updated August 18, 2021 at 4:56 PM ET

Editor's note: This report includes allegations of sexual and physical abuse.

Testimony has started as Day 1 of R. Kelly's federal trial winds down.

Kelly is being accused of a wide array of crimes: sexual exploitation of a child, bribery, kidnapping, forced labor and sexual trafficking across state lines. Kelly has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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Some of the most recognizable music venues across the country will soon require proof of vaccination to enter. The new rules will take full effect by Oct. 1. Until then audience and staff will be able to show a negative COVID test to enter.

AEG Presents, the world's second-largest live music company, announced today that it will start implementing a new vaccine policy across all the 48 clubs and theaters it owns or operates in the country. That includes New York City's Webster Hall, Los Angeles' El Rey Theatre, Denver's Bluebird Theater and others.

The Bonnaroo music festival will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID test to attend. In a series of Tweets, organizers of the popular music festival strongly encouraged full vaccination, reminding attendees that the last day to receive the second shot of Moderna or Pfizer, or a single dose of Johnson and Johnson, will be Aug. 19th.

Festival organizers are requesting that unvaccinated individuals wear a mask at all times. Indoors, masks will be required regardless of vaccination status.

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OK. So you're out at the bar or the barbecue or whatever, and you see someone that looks interesting or, you know, kind of cute, someone you might want to say hi to. But what do you do? Maybe you're a little excited or nervous. And let's be real, flirting is awkward, even worse after a year and a half of lockdowns. Thankfully, NPR's Life Kit podcast recently offered a back-to-basics refresher course. Here's NPR's Andrew Limbong.

ANDREW LIMBONG, BYLINE: Here's the big picture thing to keep in mind about flirting.

There will soon be a day without the reminder that every day, when you're walking down the street, everybody that you meet has an original point of view.

But hey (hey!), Arthur had a good, long run.

The much beloved animated kids show is coming to an end in early 2022, after its 25th and final season.

The United States has sold the only copy of the Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin to an anonymous buyer. The price of the sale was also kept confidential.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced the full lineup for the city's big upcoming "Homecoming Concert." The list covers a range of artists from classic rock mainstays to contemporary rap stars: Patti Smith, Paul Simon, Lucky Daye, The New York Philh

#FreeBritney protesters gather outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles.

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Rapper, DJ and pop culture figure Biz Markie has died. A statement from a representative said that Biz created a legacy of artistry that will forever be celebrated by his industry peers and his beloved fans. He was 57 years old. He was known as the clown prince of hip-hop, bringing a charming off-key sense of humor to the genre. NPR's Andrew Limbong has this appreciation.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TIM WESTWOOD: Biz, how did you get your name, brother?

LGBTQ characters took up a little more space in the movies in 2020. According to GLAAD's annual Studio Responsibility Index, there was an increase in the percentage of films with LBGTQ characters. A good portion of these were serious, substantial characters, too — 80% of these movies had LGBTQ characters with more than 10 minutes of screen time. The group found that the percentage of LGBTQ characters of color also rose.

The Chicago church that hosted Emmett Till's funeral. The theater in Cleveland that is the oldest African American producing theater in the country — where Langston Hughes once had an in-house apartment. The sole remaining Black owned and built historic building along Southeastern Ohio River Valley's Underground Railroad corridor.

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Updated July 14, 2021 at 8:02 PM ET

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has cleared Britney Spears to hire her own lawyer in the long drawn-out battle over her conservatorship. And the pop star has chosen Mathew S. Rosengart, a prominent Hollywood lawyer and former federal prosecutor, to take up her case.

Wednesday is set to be an important day in court for Britney Spears. Since her searing open testimony describing life under her conservatorship, there've been some big changes to her legal situation. A wealth management company, Bessemer Trust, which had been set to take over as co-conservator for Spears' estate, requested to resign.

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